Making Hanging Baskets
Bold and striking, or simply soft and subtle, hanging baskets overflowing with easily-grown bedding plants add valuable colour and character all Summer long.
The universal appeal and popularity of hanging baskets is quite easy to understand. Brimming with Summer colour, baskets bring another dimension to a facade, breaking up flat surfaces and creating an impression of depth. Planted with a mass of Summer bedding plants, like Petunias,
Aim for impact
Always consider the colours and textures of any surrounding walls, timber or foliage to achieve the maximum impact.
Dark brickwork can be high-lighted within pale pastel shades; white-painted wall cladding makes a contrasting background for strongly-coloured blooms. Consider the planting outside your home as a whole, with window-boxes, tubs and borders co-ordinating with the hanging baskets.
To be really successful, hanging baskets will need regular, daily watering, as they can dry out very quickly in warm weather. Ensure that they are positioned where watering will be easy, otherwise they may soon become neglected. A tap fitted nearby is well worth considering if you intend growing a lot of plants in outdoor containers. Alternatively, install a butt for collecting rainwater.
Wire baskets can be lined with moss, which looks effective, but dries out quickly. Rigid fibre liners are much better at holding in moisture, but don’t look as nice when the plants are small. Lining with plastic is another option, but it can look unsightly and is often difficult to work with.
PICK AND PLANT
Many plants are suitable for basket use, but the traditional ones are still the favourites:
Geraniums are probably the most popular, with a vast range of colours and a succession of showy blooms through the Summer. The trailing Ivy-leaved types are ideal.
These bushy plants have a profusion of nodding, bell-like flowers in rich colours. The small, trailing types are best.
Lobelia Much used, but still a favourite, trailing Lobelia can be relied upon to fill a basket with cascades of tiny, dainty blooms.
Petunias produce large, trumpet-like blooms in strong shades, which are ideal for adding colour.